Organisational Integrity and Responsibility (excerpts/quotes for good practice).
“Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed.” Jesus Christ, Luke 12:15, NASB
“These findings also suggest that many humanitarian workers have a narrow view of what constitutes corruption, seeing it primarily as a financial issue rather than as abuse of power.” (p. 2) Preventing Corruption in Humanitarian Assistance, Transparency International (2008)
"I was devastated. Absolutely devastated. We had won the trust of hundreds of donors, who had given generously to help us obtain this matching offer. We had taken their generous gifts, and unwittingly put them into a fraudulent scheme. And there was little chance of getting their money back....trust had been shattered. First, WE had violated the trust of our donors—by making these gifts, our donors had placed their confidence in us; they found that this trust had been misplaced. Second, a man with criminal intent had exploited OUR trust. We had placed our reliance upon the integrity, ability, and character of a person and an institution—that reliance had been a very serious mistake. Third, because so many Christian charities were involved, donor confidence in Christian ministries had been badly shaken. Our reputation, and the reputation of the broader charitable community, had been severely damaged. These were very, very, dark days...Trust involves truth...it means breaking bad news when you have it...Being a truthful witness also means avoiding generalization, spin, or overstatement." Trust Me, David Harriman (Frontiers, 2006)
"Recent scandals in the for-profit and nonprofit worlds have highlighted the importance of integrity within an organization…One of the two provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 that applies to nonprofit organizations (the other provision relates to document destruction) is the legal protection of whistle-blowers. The Act makes it illegal for a corporate entity to punish whistle-blowers who risk their careers by reporting suspected illegal activities in an organization. No form of punishment, including firing, demotion, suspension, harassment, failure to consider the employee for promotion, or any other kind of discrimination, is allowed. Punishing a whistle-blower in any way is a criminal offense…As a result of this legislation, it is important that nonprofit organizations develop procedures for receiving and handling complaints. Nonprofits need to create and implement a formal process to receive and investigate complaints and prevent retaliation.” Policy on Suspected Misconduct, Dishonesty, Fraud and Whistleblower Protection, Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability
“The ideal of transparency supposes that more information about the inner workings of a company reduces the likelihood of corporate malfeasance, and increases chances that it will perform well...[yet] even if companies disclose everything they are required to and more, they can still deceive and commit fraud.....Enron and Parmalat...disclosed masses amount of data as required in the United States and Europe, and in both cases they were able to deceive the public about the true state of their businesses. Transparency was not the problem. Telling the truth was.” (p. 47) The Myth of Transparency, Zachary Karabell, Newsweek (July 14, 2008)
“By dysfunctional I mean a consistent pattern of relating to oneself and others that is hurtful or “toxic”, characterized by such things as authoritarianism, closed/secretive communication, high control, and denial of what is actually happening. Such dysfunction can be compounded when no one sees it clearly, when it is imbedded in more functional behaviors, or when no one wants to or can do anything about it…we can end up being "wise as doves" as we interact with others who may be "innocent as serpents." Truth without grace may be brutal, but grace without truth can be lethal.” Wise as Doves and Innocent as Serpents, Kelly O’Donnell, EMQ (January 2007)
“A despotism may almost be defined as a tired democracy. As fatigue falls on a community, the citizens are less inclined for that eternal vigilance which has truly been called the price of liberty; and they prefer to arm only one single sentinel to watch the city while they sleep.” The Everlasting Man, G. K. Chesterton (1925).
“Occasionally you get a little too close to stories and your fellow man tries to swat you out of existence.”(p. 425) The Kindness of Strangers, Kate Adie (2002).
“Don't be intimidated. Eventually everything is going to be out in the open, and everyone will know how things really are. So don't hesitate to go public now. Don't be bluffed into silence by the threats of bullies. There's nothing they can do to your soul, your core being. Save your fear for God, who holds your entire life—body and soul—in his hands." Jesus Christ, Mathew 10:26-28, The Message.
"But at any time an organization makes a seriously wrong decision, its leaders should call for an intensive postmortem. Such learning opportunities are too often overlooked. The tendency is simply to call on the public relations department to spin the mater, to make another inadequately thought-out decision, and perhaps to scapegoat, even fire, a few staff members. Because most companies cover up their mistakes instead of learning from them, systemic flaws in information flow tend to remain to do their damage another day." (pp. 22-23) Transparency: How Leaders Create a Culture of Candor (2008). Warren Bennis, Daniel Goleman, James O'Toole, and Patricia Ward Biederman
"But legislation alone [Sarbanes-Oxley Act] cannot make organizations open and healthy. Only the character and will of those who run them and participate in them can do that….If a culture of collusion exists instead of a culture of candor, participants will find ways around the rules, new or old, however stringent." (p. 8) Transparency (2008). Bennis et al
"Get yourself ready! Stand up and say to them whatever I command you. Do not be terrified by them, or I will terrify you before them. Today I have made you a fortified city, an iron pillar and a bronze wall to stand against the whole land—against the kings of Judah, its officials, its priests and the people of the land. They will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you and will rescue you," declares the LORD. Jeremiah 1:17-19, NIV
"Sociologist Myron Glazer has studied several hundred whistleblowers in government and industry, and found that almost inevitably the person who exposes the wrongdoing suffers, usually in being shunned, demoted, fired, or otherwise punished." (p. 10) Transparency (2008). Bennis et al
"Although whistleblowers are often exiled from their organizations for their unwanted candor, Glazer's study revealed that they almost always found the courage to speak out in their deep commitment to the core values of the organization. Even when labeled traitors by their colleagues, such tellers of unsettling truths often feel passionate loyalty to the organization and act because they feel the secret activity violates its mission and ethical core." (p. 10) Transparency (2008). Bennis et al.
"If dissidents aren't called crazy, they are portrayed as disloyal—and treason after all, is a capital offense. The charge of disloyalty is as easy for leaders to bring against followers as it is difficult for the accused to counter and disprove. Moreover, as loyalty is typically an admirable trait, it is also a convenient blind for cowardly followers to hide behind." (p. 79) Transparency (2008). Bennis et al
"There's trouble ahead when you live only for the approval of others, saying what flatters them, doing what indulges them. Popularity contests are not truth contests—look how many scoundrel preachers were approved by your ancestors! Your task is to be true, not popular….Your true being brims over into true words and deeds." Jesus Christ, Luke 6, 26, 45 The Message
"But leaders have to do more than ask for the counsel of others. They have to hear it. All of us would do well to reflect on how receptive we are to the suggestions and opinions of others and alternate points of view. One motive for turning a deaf ear to what others have to say seems to be sheer hubris: leaders often believe they are wiser than all those around them. The literature on executive narcissism tells us that the self-confidence top executives need can easily blur into a blind spot, an unwillingness to turn to others for advice." (p. 26) Transparency (2008). Bennis et al
"As we have found again and again, one of the dangerous ironies of leadership is that those at the top often think they know more than they do. There seems to be an inexorable filtering out of bad news that often leaves those in the highest positions with potentially disastrous information gaps. Our research, for instance, shows the higher leaders rise, the less honest feedback they get from followers about their leadership. Direct reports understandably hesitate to enumerate the boss's leadership failings. And so top leaders easily lose touch with the ways others see them and many remain poor listeners, abrasive, tuned out, or otherwise clueless about their own limitations. The routine keeping of accurate information from the leader may lead to groupthink in decision making." (p.38) Transparency (2008). Bennis et al